River & Wetland Restoration Design
Client: Clackamas County, Water Environment Services
Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) is one of the agencies responsible for wastewater and stormwater management in the greater Portland metro area. To better understand the effects of management activities on watershed health and the status of aquatic resources in the district, WES contracted with Waterways to develop monitoring methods and carry out monitoring of aquatic resource and physical habitat conditions in its management region, which consists of small and medium sized tributaries in the lower Willamette, Clackamas, and Tualatin Rivers, in northern Clackamas County, OR. In close cooperation with WES, Waterways led the development of geomorphic monitoring approaches, site selection, establishment of monumented cross sections and initial monitoring of 25 to 30 stream reaches in 2009. Each monitoring event includes long profile and cross section surveys, bulk bed material sampling, pebble counts, large wood inventory, measurements of pool size and frequency, documentation of active bank erosion, and general geomorphic observations. These data are complimented with macroinvertebrate population analysis of the same reaches by Mike Cole (Cole Ecological), a regional expert in stream macroinvertebrates. WES retained Waterways to lead monitoring events in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2017.
Client: North Fork John Day Watershed Council
Fox Creek has been identified as an important spawning and rearing tributary to the North Fork of the John Day River in Eastern Oregon. Impacts to the stream and watershed include fish passage barriers associated with passive diversion structures, water withdrawals during the critical low flow summer season, lack of adequate fish screening at water diversion sites, and severe channel incision that was causing reductions in water quality associated with bank erosion and loss of a continuous riparian canopy, loss of functional floodplain habitat, and conversion of productive hay fields to marginal rangeland as water tables declined. These changes were having a noticeable impact on the economic viability of the land and the sustainability of natural ecological processes.
Client: American Rivers, Inc.
American Rivers performed an assessment of Alpine Meadows in the Carson River watershed, and identified Faith Valley as its highest priority meadow restoration due to its impairments and its popularity with recreational users for fishing, hiking, and camping. American Rivers hired Waterways to complete a baseline conditions assessment and develop designs for habitat improvement. The baseline assessment included topographic survey, modeling, geomorphic mapping, botanical and other assessments. The assessment determined that the primary cause of impairment in Faith Valley is channel incision and associated detrimental impacts, including bank erosion, lowered groundwater table, and degradation of meadow plant assemblages.
Client: US Forest Service
Waterways staff led an interdisciplinary team to assess existing conditions within the Blackwood Creek Watershed, and then prepare detailed engineering plans and specifications for recommended projects. Blackwood Creek is a major tributary to Lake Tahoe, drains a mix of steep volcanic and granitic terrain, has a high bedload transport rate, and was historically impacted by grazing, logging, and instream gravel mining. Key impacts identified during the study were excessive bank erosion and channel widening associated with channel incision and loss of floodplain connectivity and the presence of several fish passage barriers. To restore the physical processes that sustain channel morphology and biological function, an aggressive, long-term restoration strategy was proposed. To date, four distinct restoration projects have been designed and implemented:
Client: Sandy Riverfront RV Resort, LLC.
The Sandy River RV Resort (Resort) is located just upstream of the confluence of Beaver Creek and the Sandy River in the City of Troutdale. Beaver Creek, which flows through mixed low density residential and commercial areas with multiple road crossings before flowing into the Sandy River, is prone to lateral erosion and channel widening. This contributed to bank erosion along the right bank of Beaver Creek at two sites on the Resort property during high creek stage in 2017. This erosion threatened the Resort infrastructure in addition to being a source of sedimentation to the stream which impacts threatened aquatic species and their habitat.
Client: Trout Unlimited
Under contract with Trout Unlimited, Waterways led design and construction phase engineering efforts for the removal of a fish passage barrier on San Clemente Creek, a major tributary to the Carmel River. Our design team included Streeter Group (structural engineer) and CMAG Engineering (geotechnical). Work included topographic mapping, hydraulic modeling, concept level design alternatives analysis, and development of final 100% level design drawings. Waterways coordinated with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County to provide technical support for permitting efforts and then coordinated engineering support during project implementation in the summer of 2020.
Client: Ecological Concerns, Inc.
Waterways and ECI have teamed in a design-build capacity to assist the City of Santa Cruz with a multi-phase, multisite design and construction project to offset jurisdictional impacts to wetlands and waters associated with a retrofit of the dam infrastructure at Loch Lomond Reservoirs, a main source of water for the City. The mitigation effort includes three sites: 1) Canham Meadow: wet meadow restoration on a property managed by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County consisting of a gully that has incised through Canham Meadow, impacting wet meadow function and associated habitat, 2) Newell Creek Habitat Enhancement: includes installation of large wood structures on a portion of Newell Creek downstream of the Loch Lomond dam to enhance habitat for listed steelhead, and 3) Loch Lomond Shoreline Stabilization: consists of rehabilitating shoreline at Loch Lomond that is currently eroding.
Client: Latimer Environmental
The Hillsboro Landfill is a construction-demolition waste landfill situated on 400 acres south of Hillsboro, Oregon between SE Minter Bridge Road and the Tualatin River. With the landfill operations located at the northeast end of the property, the south and west sides of the property contain wetland mitigation sites adjacent to the Tualatin River. Waterways was retained to design an outfall from the constructed wetlands located at the south end of the property that provides a geomorphically stable discharge into the Tualatin River.
City of Santa Barbara
Waterways recently provided planning, design and construction management services for Phase 1 of the Arroyo Burro Open Space Restoration Project. The project area is located within the Arroyo Burro Open Space Preserve, owned by the City of Santa Barbara. Pre-project conditions within the approximately 20 acre project area were characterized by a deeply incised channel with actively eroding banks that was disconnected from historic floodplains. Ongoing bank erosion threatened to undermine a section of Las Positas Drive and several large oak and sycamore trees. Exotic vegetation had colonized the former floodplains and streambanks.
Client: Benchmark Resources
The pond construction at Pilarcitos Quarry included two bentonite-lined ponds within the Nuff Creek watershed, each designed to improve habitat for red-legged frogs. Waterways provided planning services to site the ponds, performed topographic and construction surveying, prepared preliminary and final designs, provided permit support, and supervised the construction effort.
Client: San Jose State University
Waterways is supporting Central Coast Wetlands Group by leading the design team in development of plans to construct a 30 acre managed wetland to treat irrigation runoff within the Elkhorn Slough Watershed.
Client: Syar Industries, Inc.
GEOMORPHIC ANALYSIS OF THE MIDDLE REACH OF THE RUSSIAN RIVER
Waterways, in cooperation with Swanson Hydrology and Geomorphology, completed a detailed hydraulic, geomorphic and sediment transport analyses for the Russian River’s Middle Reach, near Healdsburg. This work focused on the effects of in-stream mining and other human activities on channel morphology and flood capacity. A chrono-sequence of topographic surfaces representing the channel and floodplain were analyzed to calculate volumetric changes in channel geometry over the past 20 years. Then, a hydraulic model was constructed along 5 miles of the Russian River to evaluate land use impacts on flood elevations.
Client: South Coast Habitat Restoration
Waterways provided design and construction support services to South Coast Habitat Restoration to improve fish passage conditions and vehicular access at a private bridge that crosses Carpinteria Creek. The project site had a concrete-lined channel with drop structures that impeded the upstream migration of salmonids and an undersized bridge that could be overtopped during flood events. Site improvements included removing the concrete-lined channel, recontouring the banks, and revegetating the riparian area.
Client: Wasco County Soil and Water Conservation District
Mill Creek is a moderately-sized tributary to the Columbia River that originates on the eastern slope of Mt. Hood and flows northeast through the City of The Dalles, Oregon. Urbanization along the lower two miles of Mills Creek in the City of The Dalles resulted in the simplification of the aquatic and riparian habitats. In 2011, The Dalles Watershed Council (DWC) commissioned an evaluation of the urbanized reach to assess land use impacts and identify opportunities for habitat restoration. Following the initial assessment, a preliminary engineering design was developed for the Honald/Buyers property. The preliminary design included excavation and connection of a historic side channel that had been partially filled, utilization of an existing side channel as a backwater alcove, installation of a precast spanning bridge across the reconnected side channel, and installation of large wood structures along the channels and floodplain to increase roughness and improve habitat conditions.
Client: Vail Resorts
Waterways staff was retained to prepare the Edgewood Watershed Assessment and Enhancement Plan (EWAEP) for the portion of the Edgewood Creek watershed managed by Heavenly Mountain Resort, located in the Lake Tahoe Basin, as part of the resorts 2005 Master Plan. The purpose of the EWAEP was to identify potential restoration projects in the Edgewood Creek watershed to improve Stream Environment Zone health and improve water quality. The final EWAEP was submitted in January 2006 and was followed by four restoration designs completed in 2006.
Client: City of St. Helena
Waterways staff worked with the City of St. Helena and a team of consultants to design, permit, and construct a multi-objective flood control and habitat restoration project, The project, constructed in 2009 and 2010, provides 100-year flood protection for residential properties along the Napa River, restores important floodplain and aquatic habitat, and improves public access. Specific elements of the project include a geomorphically-based floodplain terrace and associated shoreline restoration involving removal of an existing gabion and rip-rap bank protection structures and replacement with a natural point bar shoreline configuration, bioengineered bank stabilization structures, FEMA certified levee setbacks and floodwall construction, relocation of homes from the floodplain, and approximately 2,500 ft of pedestrian trails with interpretive signage. Design elements were incorporated into project to enhance habitat for a variety of species including salmon and steelhead, river otter, California red-legged frog, and freshwater shrimp.
Client: RCD of Santa Cruz
A watershed assessment prepared for the East Branch of Soquel Creek identified limiting factors for steelhead and coho production which included high sediment loads, lack of pools, low summer base flows, and high water temperatures. In 2013, the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County contracted with Waterways to prepare a feasibility analysis and engineered designs for biomechanical bank stabilization of a large eroding cutbank and the creation of habitat enhancements along approximately 1,500 feet channel banks that were covered with unvegetated riprap, resulting in lack of habitat complexity or riparian cover.
Clean Water Service (CWS) is tasked with managing stormwater in portions of Washington County, OR that fall within the Urban Growth Boundary with the goal of protecting waterways and natural resources within stream and wetland corridors. When a new development is proposed, CWS works with the developer to meet regulatory requirements associated with increased runoff from impervious surfaces with the goal of maintaining discharges of stormwater to pre-development conditions. Traditionally, meeting these requirements consists of designing and constructing large, regional stormwater management facilities in upland areas adjacent to the new developments.
Client: California Trout, Inc.
Lower Hat Creek is an important coldwater fishery and is a designated Wild Trout Fishery by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Decades of cattle grazing, the introduction of muskrats, and over fishing caused the degradation of riparian and aquatic habitat along lower Hat Creek. Waterways, in collaboration with Streeter Group and California Trout, Inc., completed designs to restore a reach of Hat Creek. The restoration measures included installing a 160’-long pedestrian bridge and trail, and relocating the parking facilities that improve angler access and reduce habitat disturbance.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways Consulting has provided planning, design, and construction implementation support (e.g., staking, field modifications, and supervision) for the installation of 3 ponds located on the Watsonville Slough Farm property, owned by the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County. The ponds were created either as a stormwater or sediment control facility or for habitat enhancement.
Client: Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County
Waterways is teaming with CMAG Geotechnical Engineers to assist the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County and USFWS with the siting, design, and installation of multiple ponds to enhance and expand habitat for the endangered Santa Cruz Long Toed Salamander.
Client: Sempervirons Fund and Peninsula Open Space Trust
Mill Creek is the largest tributary of San Vicente Creek, in Santa Cruz County, an important stream for steelhead and coho salmon on the central California coast. Mill Creek drains a small, steep watershed containing a localized area of granitic rocks within the highly erosive marine sediments that dominate the Coast Range. Because of this, Mill Creek is an important source of resistant spawning gravel, which is limiting for fish in many watersheds in the central Coast Range. Within the recently-acquired San Vicente Redwoods Preserve, two dams on lower Mill Creek impound gravel and prevent fish passage.
Client: MCS, Corp.
Waterways recently prepared detailed engineering plans and specifications to construct a wetland mitigation site in the historic floodplain of Yakima River in Washington. The site was historically leveled and channelized for livestock grazing before being purchased by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). BLM has been managing the property to reduce invasive weeds for several years in anticipation of this project, which was initiated as a mitigation site for a nearby gravel mining operation with direct impacts to a nearby wetland.